Big Changes Coming Soon to eBay Stores!

 

Last month eBay announced some major changes which will have a definite impact on myself and some other members of the community. In short—fees are going up!

 

Here is a little more detail. According to eBay 91% of gross merchandise value sold on eBay comes from core listings (auction-style, auction-style with Buy-It-Now, and Fixed Price). However, store listings compromise 83% of all active listings. This is an inbalance that eBay wants to change. According to their announcement the average core listing item sells in about two weeks. The average store inventory listing takes 14 times longer to sell. This means they are spending a lot of energy keeping the store inventory items up and not collecting enough in fees to justify it.

 

Therefore, they are raising listing fees by 2-5 times the old rate while also raising the final value fee to almost twice what an auction listing goes for. Here is a simple break down:

 

Insertion Fees

$0.01-24.99 5 cents (up from 2 cents)

$25.00-and higher 10 cents (up from 2 cents)

 

Final Value Fees

$0.01-$25.00 10% (up from 8%)

$25.01-100 7% (up from 5%)

 

I have taken time to report on the site about several of the larger eBay stores that operate in the Boy Scout category. What this change will do is effectively double – triple their eBay fees just for keeping a large inventory of active items. Then if the items do eventually sell you will pay almost twice the fee that you would if it was an auction item. In short they are making it very hard to financially justify keeping a store stocked with low demand items in large bulk. I myself have over 2,000 items in my store and will feel a hard pinch from this. I will now have to decide whether I can afford to keep old handbooks, magazines, and other bulk stock on my store. I used to think that having a large store inventory gave me a little better exposure in the category. Now it also leaves open the liability of higher fees.

 

At the PreNOAC TOR I had a long talk with Craig McDaniel who runs his own on-line store. He rarely does eBay because of the fees. He is in talks with two of the well known players in our hobby to try and create a separate web utility that will link non-eBay online scout memorabilia stores (Chris Jensen of Streamwood Inc. and Johnny Pleasants of Brush Creek Trading Co.) I think this is a very interesting idea because if we as a hobby can create a viable alternative to eBay then we can make a healthy option for people to continue to buy and sell scout memorabilia without the high fees that eBay charges to keep its balance sheet and Wall Street happy. I think this is an interesting topic and I’m curious to see what the other members of the patchblanket community think. Can someone build an alternative to eBay for Boy Scout memorabilia?

 

 

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Comments

An alternative to ebay will have a hard time suceeding. I find that I buy a majority of my items from other than patch collectors or dealers. In effect I will still need to search ebay daily and also look at any other site. I have not looked at ebay stores in 6 months as there is little change and most items are way overpriced. Both Chris and John have their web sites which I look at on a regular basis so why a new auction site. Two dedicated to Scouts have already tried and failed.

By BigJim on August 14th, 2006 at 5:14 pm

I think ebay has found the niche we wish we could have found years ago.

I must agree with Big Jim, i still look at ebay practically everyday; also ebay is almost my second oa images ” http://www.oaimages.com ” site . i use it to find and look at new issues not on John Pannell’s site; as well as look at current prices.

Many of the seller’s stores on ebay dont change inventory for month’s, are overpriced, or are just plain common issues. I know that is why some of the items are in the stores due to there common availablity and some due to their rarity; but the middle ground seems to be overpriced.

Also not to discredit John’s site by any means it is not updated as often as i would like. Also prices on items sold at auctions are usually not added even if submitted with verification so to speak. John runs one of the best online sites dedicated to our hobby and i applaud him for that, with very reasonable fees to use his site (free) and price guide.

To put this all in perspective ebay is doing exactlly what ebay wanted to do. Run a very effective selling marketplace and that they have done ….whether you like the fees or not….ebay is here to stay. And many collectors usually cant wait to see what new needs or wants they can find daily or nightly accordingly to there schedule.

I look at ebay as the real 24/7 TOR just take a minute and walk the aisles of collectibles, csp’s, oa flaps, uniforms, jambo items, noac items, camp patches, bulk patches…………….:eek:

By mopar73mopar on August 14th, 2006 at 6:00 pm

Those of you who check eBay regularly will notice that the number of items on eBay in core listings (auction and fixed price) has soared over the last couple of days to 16,000+ items which is easily a peak not seen in some time. I would offer that part of what’s going on is that sellers are reacting to eBay’s efforts to affect change in the marketplace as described earlier in this thread. On August 15th and 16th eBay ran a special where store owners were allowed to launch their store inventory to core listings at a bargain price. A listing that normally would have cost $.70 was discounted to just $.10 during the special by dropping the insertion fee to a dime and offering a free gallery upgrade.

I have one of the five largest Boy Scout stores on eBay with an inventory of close to 2400 unique items. However, facing the crunch on August 22 when eBay is going to practically triple the cost of keeping those items in my store I decided to launch over 1200 fixed price (buy-it-now) listings. What would have cost me over $800 just in insertion fees cost me a little over $100 instead. I noticed that another store operator (firstcalltx) has about 300 listings running right now and many of these appear to also be fixed price listings. Kiwiman1 operates the 8th largest store and he currently has over 600 auction listings which appear to be launched from his store.

I don’t think the other large store operators on eBay have joined the Patchblanket.com community but I openly wonder what they will do going forward. Kindanic (John Wallace) and Tuschanna (Richard Shields – the Carolina Trader) operate stores with a combined inventory of over 7,500 items. These two sellers will have to pay between $175-$275 per month just to keep their stores open at this rate. The news just gets worse. When you do sell an item from your store you will pay nearly twice the final value fee that a normal auction is charged. In other words….its going to be very hard for guys (like me) to continue to financially justify keeping such a large store open.

eBay Sales Reports helps me track my eBay ventures and helps me see how much money I have to pay “the man” in order to operate on eBay. Over the last three months that I have data for (April-June) I paid between 12.7%-14.5% of my total sales in eBay fees. These totals are for insertion fees, final value, and software subscriptions. That does not include PayPal which is of course owned by eBay.

Through eBay Marketplace Research you can get a snapshot of how much store inventory these sellers are selling over the last 90 days….then you do the math. Will these changes cause these sellers to dump inventory or will they hang in their and just give eBay a much larger share of the pie.

The Dozen Largest eBay Stores Based on Inventory
John Wallace [COLOR=black]310 items sold = $3406.90[/COLOR]
Carolina Trader Scout Memorabilia 402 items sold = $4249.14
Santeeswapper Store 1103 items sold = $8107.05
656scout Store 353 items sold = $2792.23
Snatch-N-Patches 102 items sold = $586.50
New York Trading Company 146 items sold = $537.28
BUCKEYE SCOUT PATCHES 168 items sold = $2348.64
Kiwiman’s Collectibles 165 items sold = $717.75
My_Worldwide Scout_Guides_Shop 122 items sold = $1600.64
Ribitz 84 items sold = $639.24
First Call Collectibles 252 items sold = $2081.52
The Louisiana Trader 93 items sold = $1019.28

(figures are a snapshot of store inventory selling over the last ninety days, it does not include and auction or fixed price core listings)

By jason on August 17th, 2006 at 7:07 pm

Jason,

How did you arrive at the sales figures for the top eBay sellers. Are only Boy Scout items included in these numbers??

Garry

By garryvaiana on August 17th, 2006 at 11:04 pm

A couple of years back there was an alternative auction site for BSA stuff. If I remember right it also had a listing that was a lot like ebay stores. Oh well, not enough supported it back then and it went away.
Personally, I am slimming my store way down so if you want, stop by firstcalltx on ebay and find a bargain.
Nick

By firstcalltx on August 18th, 2006 at 12:03 am

Yes it was just on items sold in the Boy Scout category. Some guys on that list do offer items in other fields (like military patches for example) so it might not be a true representation for them. I was just trying to give a snapshot of the Boy Scout side of the house.

By jason on August 18th, 2006 at 2:15 am

From a business perspective it is a question of critical mass. Not just for sellers, but buyers as well. Ebay has that now. If one were to challenge that one would have to offer something above and beyond to customers to entice them to come.

I understand that the idea is driven mainly by a sellers perspective, but what can be offered to the buyer? Given lower seller fees mean lower prices, but that’s a hard connection to make to the occasional buyer, for instance, myself. Where as a high volume seller like Jason lower fees may mean $100s or ever $1000s to me it means only a few bucks, AND it’s a hidden cost. I would assert there are whole lot more of me out there than Jason. 🙂

The average joe need to see a clear benefit or they will simply prefer to stay where they are comfortable. I don’t think that one will be successful setting out to equal ebay. I don’t know what this could be. Ebay has a few annoying features I would change, but overall it does what I need it to. The only big thing I would like to see is category adhearance and enforcement, but that places a burden on the seller and isn’t likely to be seen as a better or easier way for them to do business.

Even a superior product doesn’t stand a chance against the critical mass Ebay has achieved. There is a tipping point out there, but until a business plan can show how it will reach such a thing I believe alternate auction site endeavors are destine to fail.

By drewhead on August 21st, 2006 at 12:41 pm

I’ve thought about the alternative site issue a couple days now. I remember another site a few years back. Can’t remember the name of it. I bought a few things on it. It worked just fine. The only problem was there were to few sellers. So the stock didn’t change much. Yahoo has an auction site also. Once again to few sellers to make it worth my time. As primarily a buyer I have to admit that right now ebay owns the show. Like it or not, you just have to do business there if you want the client/supply base they have. Perhaps someday someone will come up with a better idea. But right now it’s going to be hard to beat the machine they have created. Just look at the advertising they do. Paypal on top of that…. These things alone would make it difficult for something else to cut into that market. If success continues look for big brother to step in and add controls. No monoploy has ever avoided him. Just my two cents….

By OkiePatchTrader on August 29th, 2006 at 8:22 pm

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